The value of customer relationship management systems (CRM’s) to senior management is widely accepted and critical to strategic decision making. By having a system of record for customers, you’re able to clearly identify success, failure, and opportunities for growth across your customer base. However, in speaking to sales teams and the mobile workforce, you find reluctance, misunderstanding and an unfavorable perception of CRM technology.
The general feeling from sales reps towards CRMs is that of micromanagement, a barrier to productivity, and outdated functionality.
Without end-user adoption, CRM’s are useless. The ol’ saying of “garbage in, garbage out” comes to mind. Often times organizations invest hundreds of thousands of dollars into customizing their CRM of choice to create a seamless end-user experience anchored in the belief that data will give them the edge they need to compete.
However, companies find they still aren’t getting the accurate data they desire and CRM adoption remains at less than 40% industry wide.
At the end of the day field sales driven businesses are left with a large software invoice and unhappy sales reps — still with little visibility to what’s actually occurring in the sales process. What gives?
Companies are missing a key component in the sales stack – a mobile solution. One that fits the sales motions and needs of their field sales team.
Mobile Growth Explosion
Before we get too deep on where a mobile solution fits in the sales stack we must first recognize the growth of mobile as the primary means of communicating.
During 2018, mobile internet access accounted for 48.2% of all internet usage. This is massive growth considering that mobile traffic made up just 0.7% in 2009. The number of mobile users vastly outnumber desktop users.
As of January 2018, the world held 3.7 billion mobile internet users in total. Add to this the fact that projections for mobile e-commerce are estimated to reach 67.2% of all e-commerce sales by 2021, and it should be crystal clear that mobile is the future for all business applications.
Even Google Analytics shows that 50% of B2B queries are made on a smartphone. Whether you’re buying products online or accessing your internal database via a company app, mobile is the only viable option.
Phones & Mobile Devices Are a Part of Life
Statistics show that roughly 53% of all emails are opened on a mobile device while 90% of all internet users own a mobile phone. At the current rate of smart device adoption, 90% of everyone on the planet will own a smartphone by 2020.
Using a mobile device like a smartphone or tablet has become second nature. In fact, the number of mobile phone owners outnumbered the number of people who own toothbrushes way back in 2011. The average US citizen spends more time using the apps on their phone than they do watching TV.
No one can argue the value nor convenience of real-time access to information. In a business environment, timing is everything. A rep disconnected from their resources may as well be cold calling blind at a random location.
Long story short — the mobile device is here to stay and will soon become more prominent than our stationary computers as our means to connecting to the rest of the world (socially or professionally).
Today’s Workforce Trends
As the millennial generation continues its march towards the largest generation in today’s workforce, the need for practical, functional business technology also increases. There is no room for antiquated infrastructure involving constant micromanagement and software which delivers limited mobile functionality.
The millennial generation, or people born between 1981 and 1997, are indeed taking over the workforce. Through the course of 2017, a total of 56 million millennials were either employed or looking for work.
Today millennials make up the majority of the workforce in the USA. Not only have all these people grown up with connectivity and technology, but studies show that the average millennial owns seven or more connected devices, with at least 18 hours a week spent on a smartphone.
Asking millennials to capture customer information and sales data manually into the CRM at the end of the day is not only time-consuming but a waste of productivity. Millennials already use higher-end technology in their day to day lives making it senseless to leave their proficiency untapped.
Enter the outside sales team’s secret weapon… the mobile CRM. A mobile CRM lets the workforce work smarter and faster, capturing data in a manner which is as natural as selling for your reps.
Millennials, Mobile Technology & Field Sales = Winning
Most mobile employees spend a lot of their time using out-of-office hours to extend and enhance their work. Studies show that 91% of all mobile employees use their personal time and smartphones to conduct work business.
61% of the mobile workforce sleep with their phone by their side in case of a business related call or notification. About 10% of all employees are so devoted to their technology that it causes issues in personal relationships.
We are hooked on our technology, and the present and upcoming workforce is even more attached to their smart devices.
In the business world, mobile technology leads to employees working an average of 240 hours more per year. When one considers that these extra hours are filled with improved consulting, and better selling and service, it becomes nearly impossible to estimate the potential peaks of productivity that will be reached.
Asking your outside sales team to use inside sales technology is not only inefficient but silly.
In the 2018 State of Field Sales Report, we ask reps how much many more prospects they could speak to if they didn’t have to spend administrative efforts fighting their CRM.
Over 35% said they would increase revenue by as much as 25%!
When you have a generation that is proficient and expects modern business applications, stuck to their mobile device, and by the nature of the job “on-the-go” it only makes good business sense to equip them with the proper solution – mobile solution.
My CRM has a Mobile App
The largest and best CRMs on the market indeed have a mobile app. However, when the enterprise software architecture was designed, it was intended to be a desktop solution for the inside sales team. Let’s take a look at the largest CRM on the planet – Salesforce.com
Love it or hate it, what Salesforce has done in the CRM space is nothing short of impressive. Anyone familiar with Salesforce knows the limitless capabilities and available customizations. But, one of the largest complaints about Salesforce is just how heavy the software can be. Now take that complex software and put it on a 6 inch mobile device and require your field sales team to use it.
The issue is larger than simply taking your inside sales CRM and creating a mobile version. In order to maximize your field sales efforts, you must create a software ecosystem built for an outside sales team. Asking an outside sales rep to use inside sales rep is the epitome of “square peg, round hole.”
As you consider mobile solutions for your outside sales team, there are 2 paths to consider:
- A Mobile CRM. A fully dedicated mobile CRM built for the outside sales team. If your business is dedicated to sales reps in the field as the primary business model, then it only makes sense to equip your field sales.
- Bolt On. Layer a mobile solution on top of your existing CRM.
What Makes a Mobile CRM Essential
Good mobile CRM software will give sales reps access to all the platform’s functionality while facilitating real-time communication and access to company data in a mobile friendly way. Collaboration across service desks, sales and marketing will be working together seamlessly when the right system is employed.
Hardware and software costs are kept to a minimum while instant access to customer records, geographic and demographic data, territory info, and critical lead insights all help staff sell better. Client accounts and sales pipelines need to be managed from the office workspace and on the road.
Scheduling, queue control, and rep/performance tracking are all facilitated no matter what device you’re using and regardless of whether you’re online or not. Sales staff can indeed sell anywhere.
Finding Functional, Practical Mobile Value
Workforce mobility is no longer about relaying updates between field agents at the office, or even dispatching jobs and managing territories effectively. Mobility has become the ultimate channel for efficient field service. But, the full potential of your CRM platform will only be reached if both staff and upper management understand its practical value.
All too often a disconnect forms between sales reps and the goals of owners and management. Sales reps and CRM platforms have a strained relationship to say the least. However, if both parties have their needs met by an excellent mobile CRM, then all that is left is understanding the benefits and functional value before productivity and sales skyrocket.
How a Mobile CRM Helps Sales Reps
A mobile-focused CRM solves many of the problems which usually make sales reps dislike popular platforms. Instead of having an assortment of paperwork or having to manually enter the days information into your CRM, reps have streamlined workflows and easy data management.
There is no writing things down, no waiting for information, and no extra work at the end of a long day.
Routes are more automatically more efficient, and sales reps have more time on their hands. Here are just some of the key features of interest to outside sales:
- Unified dashboards on desktop and mobile.
- Full access and updating of leads, opportunities & contacts.
- Enhanced file opening, sharing & collaboration tools.
- Customer service tracking, management & responses on-the-go.
- Unified communication control panels with dial-into meeting functionality.
- Offline access to internal database and sales processes.
- Performance tracking and route optimization.
- Overheads are reduced for both the business and sales rep.
Mobile CRM technology does the opposite of what reps have come to expect, simplifying and enhancing existing aspects of their successful sales strategies instead of giving them more work. Existing and future employees are empowered with solutions which address actual issues within their day.
Say goodbye to back and forth phone calls and software designed for desktop users. Sales representatives can look forward to an app which puts all sales processes within reach no matter where they are.
Better Customer Interactions
Sales reps are given more time to focus on their consulting services which in turn raises the favorable opinion of your enterprise across-the-board. Personal service is memorable service.
Customer and product information can be accessed using a mobile phone or tablet giving immediate insights and answers to questions. Software like SPOTIO even gives you full access to the entire CRM without an active internet connection. Past customer purchases can be reviewed, customers can be better advised, order statuses updated, purchasing trends can be monitored, and in-demand items can be kept in stock while out of the office.
Customers and sales reps are fully supported.
Higher Average Order Volumes
Sales transparency combined with elevated customer service translates to higher average order volumes for outside sales reps who are supplied with a practical mobile CRM. The immediate access to account history, product information and any promotions upcoming or ongoing give reps more options to inspire sales from their leads.
Sales pipelines operating more efficiently means less lag in communication and in turn less time for purchase interest to waver. Customers given instant access to the pricing and information that they ask for or (at the foresight of a good up-sell) need, are more likely to carry through. Average order volume increases by as much as 20% as a matter of consequence.
Keep in mind that reps won’t only be visiting more clients and selling a higher volume, but they’ll also be closing deals faster.
Mobile Productivity & Efficiency
Sales and admin staff benefit from the lack of paperwork, data capturing, and general admin duties. Mobile real-time data capturing minimizes staff errors which improve the overall efficiency of all teams involved.
Good mobile sales software will also include features like real-time messaging, document management, and the ability to take notes and add lead information digitally.
A CRM which is designed for mobile use will also operate faster and more intuitively that a more robust server-desktop solution. Navigating an app which offers mobile connectivity as a side-line benefit can be so tricky that reps refuse to use it at all. Yet, with a responsive tool in their hands at all times, it will become an extension of the way that they work.
Total Sales Transparency
Sales processes and marketing information was an area of business shrouded in secrecy, with far too many initiatives doing their best to hide their real intentions and the full scale of their efforts and marketing. Fortunately, in today’s hyperconnected world of business, there is no room for these veils of ambiguity in background planning and sales pipelining.
Business communication needs to be open and shared with customers and internal staff so that everyone knows that they’re getting their worth. Sales transparency sets the foundation for better interdepartmental communication, steadfast relationships with clients, and management which works so closely with staff that there is never a misunderstanding nor a lack of motivation.
A mobile CRM puts everyone on the same footing, supplying a platform enabling access to the whole of a business’s internal processes. Staff understand their responsibilities better, and customers love the way that on-demand data drives decisions.
Unlocking the Full Potential of Your Enterprise
Every business needs to invest in both its internal and field sales teams. CRM solutions are integral, but outside sales have to have the right tools made available to them.
The right mobile CRM like SPOTIO runs in conjunction with existing desktop/server based platforms and vastly streamlines the way that sales reps capture and access data. Mainstream CRM software is designed for desktop use first with mobile functionality arriving as an afterthought.
After all, multi-million dollar companies like Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics give a range of tools too broad and powerful that most field sales reps would never be able to navigate through the complexity on the limited screen size of a phone or tablet. Platforms like these are not designed with the mobile workforce in mind.
Implement a leading mobile CRM, and it’ll handle the data transfer to your resource-heavy desktop CRM automatically without transferring any burden to your reps.
Magnify the Impact of Outside Sales
SPOTIO Sales technology supplies stellar mobile access to internal resources which results in no less than a 47% increase in efficiency. When you combine this with the way that the emerging millennial workforce views an enriched workplace, you’ve got a recipe for success.
Today’s workforce values IT strategies which improve productivity and communication. Companies investing in the needs of their staff exhibit a high trust culture and millennials are twenty-two times more likely to want to continue working there and show an eight times increase in agility and a seven times increase in innovation.
Empower your staff by picking software and solutions which resonate with the way that they already do business and prefer to interact, and you’ll not only have higher productivity but greater dedication as well.
SPOTIO puts everything at your fingertips; everything is logged automatically and managing sales processes couldn’t be easier. Whether you’re a sales manager or sales rep, the functional value and practical benefits are outstanding. A sales rep lives life on the road and needs a solution to match.
A comprehensive mobile solution gives you a customer relationship management program which will maximize output and efficiency in the field.
Questions or comments? Contact SPOTIO at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment below.
SPOTIO is the #1 field sales acceleration platform to increase your revenue, maximize your profitability, and increase your team’s productivity.
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